Demafelis’ suspected killer nabbed in Lebanon
The principal suspect in the gruesome murder of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Joanna Demafelis in Kuwait more than a year ago is now in the custody of authorities in Lebanon, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced on Friday evening.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he had informed President Duterte about the arrest of Nader Essam Assaf, a Lebanese, who together with his wife, Mona, a Syrian, are the principal suspects in the brutal torture and murder of Demafelis, 29, from Sara, Iloilo.
“The President welcomes the news that Nader Essam Assaf is now in the hands of authorities in Lebanon. Assaf’s arrest is a critical first step in our quest for justice for Joanna and we are thankful to our friends in Kuwait and Lebanon for their assistance,” Cayetano said in a statement.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait reported Assaf’s arrest on the same day the President visited the wake of Demafelis and assured her family that he would seek justice for her and other OFWs who were subjected to abuse by their employers.
Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al-Tarah, Kuwait’s assistant undersecretary for general security affairs, conveyed Assaf’s arrest to Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa during a meeting on Thursday. Al-Tarah said Interpol-Lebanon had notified Interpol-Kuwait that Assaf was in custody but that his wife was still at large.
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